Nujoma Blasts Ex-Fighters

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The Founding President and ruling Swapo Party leader Dr Sam Nujoma has condemned in the strongest terms and rejected as unconstitutional what he says are unrealistic demands being made by the committee of former combatants. Dr Nujoma said that the demands by the ex-combatants are “unrealistic” and not in line with the Swapo Party Constitution and therefore cannot be accommodated by the Swapo Party Government. This announcement comes following Nujoma’s meeting with the management of the Committee on the Welfare of Ex-Combatants last week Friday. During the meeting Nujoma said that the group was created outside the provisions of the Swapo Party Constitution and cannot operate within the structures of the party. “I met the group this morning and told them in clear terms that their demands are unconstitutional, illegal and therefore are condemned and rejected in the strongest terms because they are outside the Swapo Party Constitution and that of the Republic of Namibia,” said Nujoma. It was further stated that due to the unconstitutional manner in which the group has established itself, they were informed to follow the structures of the Swapo Party Constitution. At the same time all the Swapo Party regional coordinators were also tasked with organising meetings to be attended by the regional leadership and structures. “You are therefore required to be vigilant and be alerted against any destructive action which this group might take or organise and report accordingly,” said Nujoma. In the same vein all sections, branches and districts of the ruling party were called upon to “ensure that these misguided fanatics under the leadership of Ruusa Malulu are not allowed to organise any meeting or demonstrations under the name of the Swapo Party”. The Committee on the Welfare of Ex-Combatants requested an audience with President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who met them and advised them to meet with the Swapo Party president, hence last Friday’s meeting with Dr Nujoma. “You are also called upon to sensitise all Swapo structures to counter whatever this group is planning to do and that Swapo members disassociate themselves from these misguided elements. All Swapo Party regional coordinators should organise rallies to expose the dirty activities of Ruusa Malulu and her associates,” fumed Nujoma. Meanwhile, the committee claims to represent the welfare of former combatants for the promotion of interests and welfare of war veterans and that it was not formed for political reasons. This is according to ex-combatant Alex Kamwi, who is also in the committee secretariat’s public relations department. “We as ex-combatants are not mobilising ourselves to start a political party. We are entirely interested on our welfare, our rights and resolutions,” said Kamwi. He further claims that nothing was discussed at last Friday’s meeting, as their resolutions were not mentioned. “Nothing was discussed apart from asking our backgrounds in Swapo and the meeting ended in chaos and quarrelling,” said Kamwi, adding that up to now they are still awaiting a response to their demands. The established committee was charged with speeding up the unresolved issue of the welfare of ex-combatants and the recognition of their services before independence. The ex-combatants feel they should be given monetary and material rewards such as houses, land or farms, income-generating projects or a pension among other things that would improve their standards of living. As for now a demonstration by the ex-combatants in the country looks imminent come September this year, unless their needs are met. Last Friday’s meeting with Nujoma ended on a chaotic note, according to Kamwi, as they ended up quarrelling and walking out.